Muscles Targeted: The bent knee abdominal hip raises target the rectus abdominis which is the muscle group also known as the “abs”. Its helps to strengthen the lower and middle abdominals very well and is great for working the key muscles that help build up the core. The secondary muscles targeted in this exercise include the thighs and the hip flexors.
Exercise Instructions: Begin by lying on your back onto an exercise mat with your hands at your sides and your knees bent with your feet raised two inches off the floor. Bring your pelvis up and your knees up towards your chest, contracting your abdominals and hold for a 1-count. Return to the start position and repeat until failure.
Why This Exercise is Important: Your abdominals and core muscles are crucial for every day functional movements like bending down to pick up groceries, carrying your child in your arms, and jumping up into the air when playing basketball. The core muscle group includes all of the important muscles that are located in your torso that keep the body balanced and stable. These muscles are also critical for maintaining a healthy lower back since weak abdominals and underdeveloped core muscles create issues with posture and increase overall tension in your back.
Things To Avoid: Make sure to really watch your form on this exercise and go very slowly throughout the entire range of the movement. Performing the bent knee abdominal hip raises exercise very slow and controlled with a smooth tempo will allow you to really feel the tension in your abs, so make sure to avoid fast and jerky movements.
Reps and Sets: The ideal repetition range for this exercise will be in the higher limit, so shoot for between 15-30 reps per set. Total sets should be 3-5 and you can combine this exercise with 2-3 additional abdominal movements to get a great overall ab workout. Rest times between each set should be 60-90 seconds in order to fully recover before your next set.
Other Exercises To Use: It’s important to include several different exercises into your overall abdominal workout in order to work all of the muscles in the area which include your lower, middle and upper abs along with your obliques (love handles). Your goal should be to include 2-3 different exercises into each workout that involve a wide range of movements in order to hit your muscles from different angles and shock your body into growth. The last thing you want to do is perform the exact same AB exercise each time you go into the gym. This will cause your body to plateau and stop growing since it always wants new stimuli in order to keep growing and getting stronger. To blast your lower abs, you can combine this exercise with the Exercise Ball AB Pull Ins and the AB Flutter Kicks. A few great exercises for your obliques and love handles include Hanging Oblique Knee Raises and Flutter Kick Oblique Crunches which are also called “bicycle oblique crunches” and are outstanding for tightening up your sides. View our extensive database of exercise guides for a comprehensive list of exercises that target the abs.